When I talk about homeownership, usually I talk about the homeowners responsibility to properly take...
New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home
By Mike Holmes
Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 @ 9:19am
Most New Year’s resolutions are about self-improvement. Other people want to start a new habit, like regular exercise. But not a lot of people think about resolutions for their homes.
A healthy home is ground zero for a healthy life. To me that’s a no brainer. I think anyone experiencing issues with their home would agree with me. It invades every part of your life and your kids’ lives. So I’m giving you my top New Year’s resolutions for your home to help you stay ahead of the game and your home ready for a new year.
Take Care of the Home’s Exterior
Homeowners are always thinking about renovating the kitchen or a bathroom, knocking down a wall, or making a room bigger. They spend all their time choosing tiles, flooring, appliances, lighting. But you know where the money should be spent first? On your home’s exterior. I always say- Fix from the outside in.
Too many homeowners don’t realize that anything inside the home is at risk if you don’t take care of the outside. So they spend their savings on a kitchen renovation or a bathroom remodel. If you have problems with the roof, the foundation, the weeping tile, or the insulation—anything that has to do with your home’s building envelope—that new kitchen or bathroom might have to be torn down to address the problems behind them. It’s only a matter of time before those problems make their way to the surface. Cracked tiles, ceiling leaks and indoor air quality issues can all happen if you don’t take care of the exterior.
Assess your home’s indoor air quality
When it comes to the air you breathe do not take chances. You should be testing for radon—which is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers—mold and VOCs.
The best advice I can give anyone interested in having a healthy home is to get a healthy home inspection. This is an inspection that looks at specific areas and systems in your home that impact your health. A qualified healthy home inspector will then compare your test results to national health and safety guidelines to verify if your home has potentially harmful levels.
The good news is making smarter, healthier choices for our home and your family is getting easier. You can make it a Happy New Year by making it a healthy one, too.
Keep Water Away From Your House
We always want to direct water away from the home, especially around the foundation. That’s why we have grading, roofs, a system of eavestroughs and downspouts—all working to together to do one thing: drive water away from your house.
Help it out over winter. Shovel snow away from the foundation. You don’t want all that snow and moisture sitting up against it, because when it eventually melts you know where it will end up.
Look for water stains in the attic, especially around the rafters. I’ve said it before, but your home’s first line of defense is its roof. The attic can tell you if it’s holding up.
Keep up with Seasonal Maintenance Checklists
This one is very important. When problems start happening in the home most people want to blame the builder or contractor or someone else. You think they used cheap materials or installed them incorrectly. But sometimes the source of the problem isn’t a bad contractor, sub trade or builder—it might be a little closer to home.
Nothing lasts forever unless you make sure it does. That means building it right and doing the proper maintenance.
There are maintenance tasks you can do yourself every season. Some of these are:
- Change your furnace filters
- Check your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for blockages, and make sure they’re removing moisture
- Check for cracks or holes in your home’s exterior walls and foundation
- Clean out the gutters and check if they’ve corroded or disconnected
Hire a professional to come to your home and do a thorough check of all its major systems. Have them check the roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, the basement, the garage, the attic, the basement crawlspace—get them to check it all. This will help you know what the issues are and what needs to be addressed first.
If you are planning on renovating, your checklist will give you an idea of what needs to be addressed first.
Take A Look At Your Energy Usage
Do you unintentionally leave all the lights on when you leave the house? Is your thermostat always set too high?
You can start paying attention to these habits and adjust them, or you can work towards a “smart home”. A smart thermostat will save you money on your monthly bills. You can control your heating and cooling remotely (so you can turn up the heat just before you come home). You can also review your home’s energy consumption in real-time.
I also love automation hubs that allow you to control your lighting. Left the house and accidentally left the lights on? With an app you can turn them off.
The device will detect even the smaller water uses and sends data to the app. And if does detect a leak or flood? You can shut your water off remotely